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Unforgivable Chapters 1-3

Unforgivable Chapters 1-3

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Published by Michelle Rhyne

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Published by: Michelle Rhyne on Nov 14, 2012
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11/14/2012

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UNFORGIVABLE
 
CHAPTER ONE
Marie Martin typed steadily on her PC keyboard, and glanced at the clock while shefinished editing her interview with New York City mayor, Donald Perez. She pulled a facewhen she noticed the time, and scrolled the arrow on the monitor, clicking the save icon at thetop left corner of the screen.This was her first exclusive since promoted to reporter, and she wanted it flawless before it hit the press in the morning. She didn’t feel as if she had to prove anything to herself,after all, she received a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Brown University a year prior,and had the potential to become an brilliant correspondent. She was the executive editor of theUniversity’s campus newspaper, The Bear, and interned for three years at The Herald, beforeapplying at The New York Weekly.Although she had the education and skill to back up her qualifications of being a journalist, she chose to start out on the ground floor, and advance slowly. Her father,Maryland Congressman Reginald Martin, became upset at the announcement she had gotten a job as a copy editor, and kindly offered to pull a few strings for his only child to jump starther journalistic career. Marie declined the proposal. Not wanting the label ‘spoiled brat’, sheaccomplished her goal without resorting to her father’s help. Marie attached the report to her e-mail and forwarded it to the copy room, then rubbed her eyes tiredly and turned off themonitor.She pulled out the top desk drawer, removed her tote and handbag and strode to thedoor. It was late, but she wanted to get a run in before she made the long trip back to her apartment in Midtown. A charity marathon she’d signed up for was only a week away and shehadn’t had the time to devote herself due to her latest assignment. If she didn’t prepare, she’dmake a fool out of herself and that wouldn’t be good for her father’s image. She could see theheadlines now: CONGRESSMAN’S DAUGHTER FALLS ON FACE AFTER THIRTY-SIXMILE CHARITY RUN.When she was halfway out into the hall, the phone on the desk rang. She scurried back in, throwing her tote and handbag aside before scooping up the receiver.“Hello?” she asked, out of breath.“Hey, kiddo,” her father said, concerned. “Everything all right?”Marie sat on the edge of the desk and twirled the phone cord with her index finger.“Yeah, Dad, I was just running out the door. What’s up?”
 
“Nothing,” her father said. “I haven’t heard from you in a while and wanted to see howyou were, you know, make sure you’re happy and healthy and what not. Didn’t mean to catchyou at a bad time. Are you in a rush?”Marie looked at the clock.“Well actually, Dad, I’m heading to Central Park for a quick jog before it gets too late.”Marie’s father clucked his tongue on the other end of the line.“Marie, are you
insane
?” he scolded. “All kinds of crazies are out and about this late atnight. You can get mugged, or worse, raped.”Marie rolled her eyes. Since her mother died of a heart attack two years earlier, her father treated her like glass.“Dad, I’ll be fine. It’s just for half an hour. I’ll run the trail across from Arthur RossPinetum, right next to the police precinct, so don’t worry.”Her father sighed. “I still don’t think it’s safe. If you insist, at least let me callCongressman Allen. He’s in New York for a congressional meeting and I can arrange for oneof his bodyguards to escort you. I don’t want you out there alone.”Marie gripped the phone tight and clenched her jaw. “No, Dad. I don’t want to hangaround here and wait for a bodyguard. I’ll catch a cab, take a run and go home. I promise I’llcall you the minute I get there, okay?”“All right, Marie,” he relented. “I still don’t like it, but I guess I can’t talk you out of it.You be careful and call me the second you get home, understand?”Marie laughed. “I promise, worry wart. Now let me go so I can get the hell out of here.”“Okay, I love you sweetheart.”Marie smiled. “I love you, too, Dad. Bye,” she said, and hung up.* * *Marie puffed hard and sprinted across Rumsey Playfield, taking a short cut by TheSheep Meadow Café. She'd planned to run by the police precinct, originally, but decided to jog the circle around Central Park South, cutting her time in half by not having to stop at theend of the street, turn and then go the opposite way every time.Rounding the corner by Strawberry Fields, she locked her eyes on Tavern on the Greencoming up ahead, then noticed something stir in the bushes along the edge of the trail.Squinting into the darkness, she slowed down to a trot. The hedge line directly beside her moved and a dark form walked through to the other side. Quickly, she took off running again,and cut over to the road beside Sheep Meadow to the Dairy Visitor Center a few meters away.
 
When she reached the Center entrance, she stopped, then leaned over and placed her hands onher knees to catch her breath.Rustling movements sounded in the bushes beside a lamppost to the left of the entranceand a shadowy figure stepped out and paused. A tight knot formed in the pit of Marie’sstomach, and she abruptly stood up, frantically examining her surroundings for a way toescape. Loud footsteps pounding on pavement came closer; Marie pursed her lips and turnedin the opposite direction, planting the soles of her tennis shoes firmly on the asphalt for better traction.The figure emerged from the shadows and stopped directly underneath the lamppost.Marie let out a relaxed sigh when a scruffy looking teenage boy stared innocently with largedark eyes.
 Poor thing,
Marie thought as she ran her eyes over his pitiful appearance. Oversized,ragged clothes hung loosely off a skeletal frame. Filthy army boots, jut from underneath mud-caked jeans, with a hole in the toe, exposing a dingy sock. Casually, the boy reached out,wrapped a hand around the lamppost base and tossed a mop of unkempt, long black hair over his shoulder.“You scared the shit out of me, kid,” she said, mildly scolding him. “It’s not a good idearoaming out here all alone. Lots of drug addicts come here at night and I’m sure theywouldn’t think twice about roughing you up if they thought you had some money.”The teenager shrugged and pulled a cigarette pack out of his pants pocket. He poppedone in his mouth, and lit it, then let out a steady stream of smoke.The aloof manner suddenly dinged Marie’s radar. “What’s your name, kid? Are youwith someone?” she asked, glancing behind him.The boy grinned wickedly.“My name isn’t important.” He flicked the cigarette to the ground and crushed it withhis heel. “I’ve been waiting for you.” He lifted off the light pole.A tingling shot of adrenaline pumped through Marie, causing the hairs on her body tostand on end. She told her herself to remain calm and smiled wide. “Really? Well, I’m afraidI’m in a bit of a hurry. My driver’s waiting just around the corner at the zoo,” she lied, pointing up the street. “He gets real temperamental if he stays out late,” she laughed tensely.“I guess it’s hard to find good help these days. Are you hungry? I can run ahead and have mydriver come back and bring you something to eat.” Marie turned her body again.The boy slowly walked over and stopped a few inches from her. Marie peered out of thecorner of her eye, then did a double take. Eerie, slanted crystal blue eyes with thin vertical pupils glowed in the dim light. She repositioned her footing on the pavement and bent her knees slightly, transferring her body weight, and then pushed off. The boy waved a hand,freezing her legs. Hysterically, Marie pulled at them, and glanced over her shoulder again,

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